In construction, falls from an elevated surface continue to be a leading cause of death for employees.
National Safety Stand-Down Week is a yearly voluntary event where employers can speak directly to their personnel regarding safety, focusing especially on fall hazards while bolstering the importance of fall prevention.
Where employees are not exposed to fall hazards, OSHA still recommends companies use this opportunity to have a conversation with their personnel about other hazards they may face on the job, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies and goals. Safety Stand-Down can also be used as a time for employees to notify management about any fall or other hazards they have encountered.
How to Have a Successful Safety Stand-Down
Most companies will hold these “toolbox talks” during a break throughout Safety Stand-Down week or by conducting other safety activities like inspections, creating rescue plans, or discussing hazardous conditions specific to their jobs. Participation is not limited to the construction industry. OSHA recommends a few best practices to ensure a successful Safety Stand-Down:
Start early and designate a stand-down coordinator at each site.
Ask everyone to participate: subcontractors, owners, architects, engineers, or anyone associated with the safety hazards or specific project.
Review your fall prevention program
What falls could happen? What needs improvement? What training has been provided and should it be revised? What equipment is provided to personnel and is better equipment available?
Develop stand down presentations or activities to best convey information to employees
Safety Stand-Down should provide information to personnel about hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety goals, policies, and expectations. Hands-on activities can increase participation and retention.
Decide when the stand-down will be held and its duration